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9 Ways To Work Through Post-Election Emotions, As Told By A Social Worker

I have spent the past few hours in a state of reflection, disbelief and wonder. It seems appropriate that it is raining outside of my suburban Philadelphia home today, reflecting the feelings of fear, shock and frustration that have washed over me and are rumbling deep within my core.

As a social worker, I have committed myself to a career based in an inherent belief of worthiness. That no matter a person's, religion, color, sex or social status, they are worthy of equality, love and respect.

When I first entered the field, I was quickly exposed to things that I had read and studied about, but as a product of a middle class Northeastern town, I had never actually seen or witnessed many of them firsthand.

Quickly, the reality of societal racism, discrimination and the ongoing effects of sexism and trauma that my clients had been — and continue to be exposed to — hit me like a ton of bricks and has not only fueled my work, but also my passion.

As each day passes, I continue to see and feel the effects that these experiences have on my clients and their families. I am a part of, and a fighter against a system that is set up to serve others but is failing those most in need.

I have many friends and family members who are Trump supporters. Most have a variety of reasons to have voted for him yesterday. These reasons, despite my greatest efforts, I quite honestly have not been able to accept.

I am working on respecting and accepting our differences, but remain in a state of disbelief and sorrow that many seem to blind to the messages of misogyny, sexism and discrimination that became apparent throughout Trump's campaign.

As I scrolled through my social media feeds this morning I was overwhelmed by the amount of hatred, hurt and grief pouring through my iPhone screen.

Women are grieving the unknown future for their daughters, Republicans are boasting that America will be great again and liberals are chastising their conservative counterparts — both parties often times resorting to contempt and resentment. Entire communities are voicing their pain of feeling like an unseen, unvalued citizens.

Myself, I'm heartbroken that what I, and so many others before and alongside me, have fought against has seemingly prevailed.

And, I'm pissed that my people… my clients, friends, colleagues and fellow-citizens continue to suffer and continue to feel unheard.

One man embodies a divide within our nation. A divide that is has never been so clear.

As a woman committed to fighting for justice, an advocate for the underserved and a supporter of men and women in crisis, I have been trying to put into words how to cope with the stress and anxiety that have washed over so many of us. And, how move through those feelings to mend our heartbreak, and continue our quest.

woman stands in protest of donald trump crying

REUTERS

Connect

With the people in your life that get it. Reach out to your tribe. Express your fears, hopes and your frustrations.

Speak

Communicate your truth from a place of love and respect. Strive to be understood and to understand where others are coming from. Disagree with respect and common decency; this is the best way to push back against hateful exchanges.

Grieve

The loss of the prospect of the first woman president. The loss of hope that President Obama instilled in so many of us when he took office. Allow the grief to move through you, so that you can…

Reignite

Your drive to take action. Your ability to stand for what is right and just. Your passion to fight against injustice, discrimination and sexism. Reignite that hope that felt impossible when you were grieving.

Teach

Your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or young neighbors through your words and actions. Allow them to see in you what love and acceptance looks and feels like.

Believe

In every person's worthiness despite political party, race, religion or gender.

Support

Those who have been oppressed, those who feel marginalized and those who have been left feeling unheard and unseen.

Continue to fight

For equality. For justice. For love.

Love

Because love is the best remedy for hate.

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Sarah Herstich

Contributor

Sarah is a therapist and coach who helps 20 & 30-somethings ease their minds and embrace their spirits. You can find out more about Sarah and follow her blog at www.sarahherstichlcsw.com.
Sarah is a therapist and coach who helps 20 & 30-somethings ease their minds and embrace their spirits. You can find out more about Sarah and follow her blog at www.sarahherstichlcsw.com.

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